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A good introduction to demo era Leviathan - 85%

Taliesin, September 10th, 2006

This was limited to 500 copies and was bought out quick, luckily I was on a Leviathan binge at that time and had no problem snapping it up quick. It's a good compilation of his demos from the year 2000, with a good song selection that also creates a good listening experience in of itself. The songs show different sides of his sound, there's the thrashier feeling, the more depressive/folky element, the trippy ambience, everything I've come to like Leviathan for. There's also a moment of Celtic Frost tribute, which is perhaps a little too much silliness, but Leviathan I guess, like Darkthrone needed to get a bit of those "Heys" out of his system.

This tape certainly takes the listener into Leviathan's world, and it is fairly effective at bringing a well rounded idea of what Leviathan is about. The sound quality is usually mediocre to okay, obviously done on a 4 track, sometimes not quite getting the concept of recording for atmosphere down as well as on The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide. But again, these are demos, and work quite well as just that, demos that show some of the progressions and idea Wrest had. Unlike most of the black metal world, Wrest is someone with a lot of ideas, a lot of concepts to put into music. And though I may not like all of them (like on the Sapthuran/Leviathan split) I do like the fact that he is willing to experiment and create a lot, rather then fall into "scene" pressure. Leviathan is and has always been outside of the scene, and this is best represented by these recordings, which were done when he was furthest from connections to the scene people.

So rather then fall to the stagnation and sheep behaviour of the group (or should I say "goat" behaviour) he created music he desired too, and this is reflected throughout here. From the almost Joy Division-ish drum beats in some sections to the trippy melancholy and ambience, one is almost constantly put into Leviathan's dark world, with only a few sections to break this spell.

Although this tape it hard to find, if you can find it I would suggest getting it if you're a Leviathan fanatic. If you have already heard the demos these songs are from, then this is nothing to waste time on unless you're a completist.